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  • Landscapers Input

    My client has a question?
    Let me know what some of you would charge on this estimate?

    950 Sq Ft of rock spread at 2inch with weed barrier under

    700 Sq ft of mulch spread

    300 ft black aluminum edging put down

    1 Down spout ran underground with a popup installed

    6 Shrubs removed

    1 small shrub stump removed

    Tell me what you would charge?

  • #2
    try your cost of materials x 2.5

    see where that gets you. Most of the time if I pick up "odd jobs" like this I use my cost x2.5 and always walk away happy with what I made for the time I had in it.


    • #3
      Quote[/b] ]6 Shrubs removed

      1 small shrub stump removed
      When you are pricing shrub removal, how do you go about figuring the cost of it since it's not like buying materials.

      Would you just figure the amount of time needed to do this, dumping fees and machine fees? Or would this just be included in the larger project since there are a lot of materials that will be needed to be purchased?
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      • #4
        This is a prime example why everyone needs to figure out their hourly rate. Add up the cost of all materials, with mark-up. Then ESTIMATE your total man hours on the job, times that by your hourly rate, and voila, you have your total price. I think its safer than doing the whole materials X 2.25

        For example - the drainage - pipe is about 15 bucks, pop up is about 10. So are you going to drive to a job (with diesel at 4.15 per gallon) to do a drainage job for $56.25

        Our way would be $35.00 material plus markup and 2 man hours at $37.00 per man hour. That would be $109.00.

        I know that I have drive time included in the price and that all of my overhead is covered... as long as that job is done in 2 man hours.

        Also, we have that hourly rate posted on all of our estimates and invoices, so we aren't hiding anything from the customer.


        • #5

          Quote[/b] ]This is a prime example why everyone needs to figure out their hourly rate.
          I think this is something that is very hard to grasp for the new lawn care business owner.

          How do you suggest a new business owner come up with their hourly rate?

          Any insight you have would be greatly appreciated.
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          • #6
            I've written extensively on the subject of lawn care pricing and estimating for close to a decade now. No matter how many times people tell me there is a simple formula to price lawn work, I will still say there is no single method that covers every circumstance.

            All Aspects is exactly right. The first thing you must do is calculate your hourly rate. That, in itself, is not a simple matter. You have to take into consideration: how effectively you work, size of your equipment, your costs, distance travelled, what the local economy will bear, etc.

            A guy lackadaisically pushing around a 20" lawn mower might only be able to charge $15/hour. However, Chuck or All Aspects (and other guys on this board) kicking it as hard as it sounds like they do are more than likely over the $40/manhour rate.

            Landscaping has even more variables. It's difficult to translate what a landscaping job will go for in the southeast and compare that to a job in Michigan. What are the costs of goods? What is the going labor rate? Is this company buying wholesale or are they buying their supplies from Lowe's?
            What about taxes?

            What if your customer lives in a neighborhood covered by a protective covenant specifying what kind of mulch you can use for landscaping and you accidently purchase the wrong mulch? (LOL, I've seen that happen.)

            LawnIndustryConsultants, ask your client the easy and the hard questions to make sure he's done his home work. Help him figure out HOW to estimate instead of just telling him a price. I am sure you would hate to give him a price only to find out the job became unprofitable for him due to his particular circumstances.

            Start a profitable lawn care business.


            • #7
              hey keith... thanks... saved me alot of typing... lol

              But steve, like keith said... every single thing that you spend money on (business related) has to be transformed into a dollar amount.

              In addition to estimating correctly, you should also inform and educate the homeowner. Youll earn alot of respect if you are straight up with a customer. I've often called people out on some of the suggestions they had for plantings, and also, laughingly, told the that they dont want something like that.

              Experience counts for alot in this business. Ive been in business for 11 years and won and lost alot of jobs... I also know that my eyes are my best tool on an estimate, along with my mouth. Have confidence and do what you tell them you are going to do. Sorry for the rant, and being all over the place, as Ive only had about six hours sleep in the last two nights... being busy and making money takes its tolls.

              But as I always say... I love my life, and my wife.... and wouldnt change a thing.


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